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By Mwaba Makasa

Introduction

The story of the Southern African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) was told slowly and softly yet with undiluted vigour to over 500 delegates drawn from twelve SARPCCO Member States. The auspicious occasion was none other than the 20th SARPCCO Annual General Meeting (AGM) held from 25th to 28th May, 2015 at Birchwood OR Tambo Centre, Kempton Park, Johannesburg in the Republic of South Africa.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe with his Police Chief Mr. Augustine Chihuri during SARPCCO meeting.The slow and soft spoken Dean of SARPCCO, Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Republican Police (ZRP) Mr. Augustine Chihuri, one of the two surviving and serving Chiefs of Police founder members of the regional organisation, was given the honour to tell the tale. A sharp glimmer blended with a nostalgic faraway look in his eyes suggestive of child-like excitement evidently betrayed his seemingly calm and serious demenour.

Formative Years (Historical Background)

In 1994, an inaugural meeting of Police Chiefs from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region took place at Mananga Training Centre in the Kingdom of Swaziland. Ten (10) founding Member States were present. These are; Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The then Inspector General of Police for Zambia Police Service, Mr. Francis Ndhlovu along with Commissioner General for Zimbabwe Republic Police, Mr. Augustin Chihuri and the National Commissioner for the Royal Swaziland Police Service Mr. Isaac Magagula, who are both still serving in the same capacity, were part of the pioneer police chiefs who met in Swaziland and conceptualised the idea of establishing SARPCCO. Interestingly, former National Commissioner of South African Police, Mr George Faivas was also present at this historical meeting.

In 1995, at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe the same police chiefs met again and crystallised the ideas concerning the establishment of the police organization. At this meeting they named the organization SARPCCO. Heads of Frontline States in the Southern African region also present at this meeting confirmed the name of SARPCCO and adopted it as a Regional Policing body.

 

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